Senate Democrats

Energy And Economic Experts Support Consumer-First Energy Act Of 2008

Washington, DC—Energy and economic experts today announced their support of Senate Democrats’ Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008, a bill that addresses the root causes of high gas prices.  As oil and gas prices continue to break record highs, Democrats are committed to putting consumers first and ensuring for the long-term energy security of our nation.

“The Consumer-First Energy Act is not a gimmick,” said Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor.  “It will genuinely help cut the price of gas at the pump, and it’s exactly what hard-pressed Americans need right now.”

Said Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program: “This comprehensive approach to high energy prices – holding both oil companies and financial speculators accountable for the record prices we’re paying for energy – is the type of leadership America needs to solve our energy crisis.  Oil Companies like Exxon are spending more buying back stock – $40 billion since January 2007 – than on their entire global capital expenditures.  If oil companies aren’t willing to use their record earnings to invest in the energy infrastructure improvements we need to break our oil addiction, then it is only fair to prod them to do so by levying a new income-tax surcharge.  And restoring transparency and disclosure in futures markets where prices of energy are actually set will clamp down on the harmful speculation that is responsible for the spiking price of oil.”

“This bill is a lifeline to families struggling with high fuel prices,” said Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.  “The plan would finally rein in big oil and OPEC – measures that were blocked last year by congressional conservatives.  Record fuel prices should lead them to choose families’ wallets over oil companies’ profits in 2008.”